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Topics - WayOutWest

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Amazon, walmart, kmart, sears, and to pay (collectively) over $300,000 in fines to the state of NY for selling unauthorized toy guns.
* Amazon Central / Enter to win Amazon Echo
« on: July 24, 2015, 05:36:57 AM »
If you're active on the social networks, here's a chance to win one of two Amazon Echos that are being given away.

Go to post a suggestion to any brand, and get a chance to win an Amazon Echo.  Share your suggestion and get it re-echoed as much as possible for a better chance to win.  Entry deadline July 31, 2015.

* General Discussions / Wayward Pines
« on: July 17, 2015, 08:54:00 AM »
Saw someone mention that it was really good. I have seen it advertised on Hulu, but hadn't paid it much mind.  Was having trouble sleeping a few days ago, so I was looking on Hulu for something to watch and decided to give it a go.  If you haven't watched it yet, it's pretty darn good!   And, like one of the characters says in the show, the truth as to what's really going on is much worse than you can imagine.
* General Discussions / 3D Printing - You've Come A Long Way, Baby!
« on: July 02, 2015, 07:54:40 AM »
A 2,000 sq. ft. office building, complete with furnishings, is to be printed in Dubai. 
The ‘Office’ will be approximately 2,000 square feet in size and will be printed layer-by-layer using a 20-foot tall 3D printer, then assembled on site in Dubai in just a few weeks.

Dubai - The world’s first fully 3D-printed office building will soon take shape in Dubai, officials announced on Tuesday.

The structural components, interior furniture and all the detailing will be constructed layer by layer using a massive 20-foot tall 3D printer. The finished parts will then be assembled at a busy intersection in Dubai over the span of few weeks.
. . .
According to experts, the use of 3D printing technology has the potential to reduce the construction time of buildings by between 50 and 70 per cent, reduce labour costs by 50 to 80 per cent, and can cut down on the amount of construction waste by 30 to 60 per cent, which means increased sustainability and increased economic return on the initial investment.
. . .
In other parts of the world, 3D buildings have already been built for residential purposes. In China, WinSun successfully 3D printed 10 full-sized single storey houses in 2014, each costing less than $5,000. Additionally, the company has successfully built a three-storey, 11,840 square-foot mansion for a total cost $161,000, as well as a five-storey apartment block.
(read the complete article here.)

Single story homes built for $5,000 and a 3-story, 11,840 sq.ft. home built for only $161,000?  Wow, just wow!
* Amazon Central / Amazon having big sale event in July
« on: June 28, 2015, 09:22:23 AM »
Just read this from an Amazon employee.  Dunno if it'll give much of a boost to 3rd party sales or not.

Starting Sunday, July 12th, will be holding a week long super sale to celebrate the company's 20th anniversary. To the best of my knowledge, this will be a global event on all amazon websites (.com, .de, .eu, .jp, etc). Upper management was somewhat scarce with other details, but I am under the belief that the sales will be like those from Black Friday. A non-stop stream of timed and limited qty offers for the entire week.

Australia -
Brazil -
Canada -
China -
France -
Germany -
India -
Italy -
Japan -
Mexico -
Netherlands -
Spain -
United Kingdom -
United States -
* General Discussions / Sense8
« on: June 16, 2015, 03:46:42 PM »
Been watching Sense8 on Netflix and really like it!  If you're looking for something different, give it a try. It tells the story of a group of people who discover that they can communicate telepathically with one another.  The first couple of episodes are a little slow, and the very first bit of the first episode is confusing unless you know that they are beginning to see each other telepathically, but then it will quickly suck you in as the characters and storyline develop.  Has Freeman Agyeman (Martha Jones of Doctor Who) in it too! Filmed on location in Nairobi, Reykjavík, Mumbai, Berlin, Chicago, Seoul, Mexico City, London, and San Francisco.

Warning - show has violence, strong language, and full nudity.
* Computer Lab / Free upgrade to Windows 10
« on: June 03, 2015, 09:30:43 PM »
If you have Windows 7 or 8, look in your systray (the little area in the bottom right corner, next to the clock). Click the Windows logo and you should have an offer to sign up for a free upgrade to Windows 10 when it becomes available. It is supposed to be released on July 29th

Article about windows 10 in PCWorld:

The official Windows 10 page and fine print:

*Windows Offer Details

Yes, free! This upgrade offer is for a full version of Windows 10, not a trial. 3GB download required; standard data rates apply. To take advantage of this free offer, you must upgrade to Windows 10 within one year of availability. Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device.

Our lawyers made us say this:

Windows 10 Upgrade Offer is valid for qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices, including devices you already own. Some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device and market. The availability of Windows 10 upgrade for Windows Phone 8.1 devices may vary by OEM, mobile operator or carrier. Devices must be connected to the internet and have Windows Update enabled. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update required. Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer. To check for compatibility and other important installation information, visit your device manufacturer’s website and the Windows 10 Specifications page.

1 Apps sold separately; availability may vary.

2 Cortana available in select global markets at launch; experience may vary by region and device.

3 Features only available in supported games in Xbox Live-supported countries, see . Limited number of games available in 2015 support cross-device play; additional games to follow. Stream to one device at a time; Streaming with multiplayer from Xbox One requires home network connection and Xbox Live Gold membership (sold separately); Gold also required for multiplayer play on Xbox One. DirectX 12 only available with supported games and graphics chips.
​Toxic trade: Rat droppings & urine contained in dangerous fake cosmetics sold online

May 18, 2015 13:51

(Reuters / Fredy Builes)

The rapid growth in counterfeit cosmetic trading online is putting people’s lives at risk, police warn, as new laboratory tests confirm the artificial products contain rat droppings, human urine and arsenic.

The shocking tests reveal artificial cosmetics such as mascara, eyeliner, lip gloss and foundation contain toxic levels of chemicals and other harmful substances such as mercury and lead.

Continue reading at:
* General Discussions / X-Files Returns!
« on: May 12, 2015, 07:20:22 AM »
X-Files is returning!  It will have David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprising their roles as FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.  The 6 episode series will debut after the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, January 24th (on FOX).  It will continue the following night in its regular Monday night time slot.

Now I'm gonna hafta re-watch all the old episodes, plus the movie, in order to remind myself of what all transpired and where it left off. 
Came across this and had to share. The comments are a must read. I especially like the one that starts out saying to imagine that you're a frog. 😅.
* Internet Security / Reminder - Importance of Backups
« on: April 20, 2015, 08:34:03 AM »
A woman I know contacted me for help with her computer and it turns out she was hit with a very nasty infection.

Something that seems to be gaining popularity with the criminals is variants of a thing called CryptoLocker (CryptoLocker 2.0, CryptoWall, etc).  What it does is encrypt documents, images, and a large variety of other files it finds (not only on your C: drive, but also your mapped drives - dropbox, attached storage such as thumb drives, network attached storage, etc) and makes them completely inaccessible to you. It then demands a ransom payment to get your data back, which can run as much as $500 (payable in bitcoin).

This is distributed through a variety of ways, with some of the most common ones being those fake emails that say things like: 'we were unable to deliver your USPS parcel', 'we were unable to deliver your UPS parcel', 'there was an error processing your card payment', etc.  However, it can also happen through malicious websites, malicious adverts, infected freeware and shareware, unsecured ports on your computer's internet connection, etc.

Dropbox can roll back the files you store on it, though it can be tedious unless you install a tool to automate the process, and if you're keeping shadow copies on your system, that can help as well. Better, though, is if you routinely make backups to either a service on the cloud or to something that doesn't stay connected to your system (such as DVDR discs).

If you search on the internet, you find that the number of people getting hit by these is huge, with systems being hit ranging from the household user to big corporations.

That woman's experience is a good reminder to all of us to be more diligent in making backups. And, of course, to be very careful about what you click on and what email attachments you open.
Got this in email and thought I'd share


PayPal experienced a recent system issue which impacted some transactions between buyers and sellers. From 4:00 p.m. PDT on April 13 until 6:00 a.m. PDT on April 14, some transactions were incorrectly labeled as a payment for a service, instead of for goods. This prevented shipping information from being included in the details of the payment.

If you received a payment for a service during this timeframe, please work with your buyer to verify that the transaction was for a service. If it was, great, there’s nothing you need to do. If it was for an item, you’re covered under Seller Protection in this case as long as you ship to the buyer’s address.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your business.
* General Discussions / Taxes
« on: April 12, 2015, 05:36:25 AM »
Have I mentioned lately that I really hate tax time?

Hopefully will be able to post soon that I got 'em done.

Hope everyone else still has their sanity and all their hair left  :laugh
* General Discussions / Win $50,000 from PayPal
« on: April 07, 2015, 07:20:09 AM »
Go to
Watch the video
Go back to the above link and it should say thanks for watching, login to enter
Login to PayPal
If, after  logging in, you don't see a screen saying whether or not you were an instant winner, hit the link above again
Amazon is discontinuing Amazon Unbox.  Unbox allows you to to download videos you have purchased to your PC and to view them offline.    Amazon Unbox will no longer be available after March 29th.    Because the product is being discontinued, any videos that you have downloaded can have their licenses converted to be viewable using Windows Media Player. 

To access your purchased and downloaded videos using Windows Media Player, you'll first need to complete the steps below. Windows Media Player is a standard media player included with most Windows PCs. If it isn’t currently installed on your computer, you can download it through Microsoft Support.

Update the Amazon Unbox application to the latest version. This version includes a one-time license conversion that will make your videos available within Windows Media Player. When you open the Unbox application, you'll see an UPGRADE notification you can use to do this. You can also click the Settings option in the Unbox menu and select Check for Amazon Unbox Upgrades.
Use Unbox to download all purchased videos you wish to view offline on your PC by March 29, 2015.
Once you’ve completed these two steps, your downloaded videos will be available through Windows Media Player on your PC.
. . .
Movies and TV episodes you've downloaded from Unbox are available under "Videos" in your Windows Media Player library.
* Everything eBay / Have I mentioned lately that I hate ebay?
« on: February 06, 2015, 10:53:23 PM »
I've bought a few odd things here and there on ebay from chinese sellers, and they've gone smoothly.

Tried buying a used cell phone on ebay from a U.S. seller.  I picked out the model I wanted (a fairly inexpensive unit but one that'll work on TMobile's LTE system - a ZMAX ZTE).   The one I would really prefer is around $700, so the ZMAX it is.     Walmart has it for $175.  I waded through various listings on ebay until I found one that looked okay and the price was such that I was going to save around $45.  Guess what?  It's blacklisted!   Listing didn't say anything about being blacklisted, only that it was good condition.

To top it off, here's the communcations after I got it and discovered it's blacklisted

From me:
Problem. Item not as described. TMobile says that it is blacklisted because it is financed and money is owed to TMobile for phone. This makes this phone unusable. Please pay TMobile the money owed so that I can use it. Otherwise, I need to return for full refund.

From seller:
so we sold it to pay the phone I sent you, Since I bought another phone and other kiss him and sold and not had a problem and we are paying because it is in a family has let me I do to answer and send to unlock your phone, it takes between 24 hours to 72 forgive forgot to unlock the phone and soon you can use

From me:
Thank you for fast reply.  IMEI # is
page to check status

From seller:
I called T-Mobile and they told me I G.Temgo EN24 is unlocked imei and give it to the representative of T-Mobile to unlock it I have to wait until I get the code to unlock the phone and can use it with any carrier, unless you want to wait you can return the phone that I return the money forgive the inconvenience

From me:
It is saying that you have to pay tmobile money that is owed for the phone before it will work.  It is saying that it is blacklisted because the bill was not paid.

tmobile está diciendo que para ser desbloqueado,  usted debe pagar lo que se debe en la facture y no va a funcionar hasta que pague tmobile.

I added the spanish bit because apparently there's a language barrier and the pic of the phone in listing showed it as being set up for spanish.  Translation of spanish portion of my message:  Tmobile is saying that to be unblocked, you must pay what you owe on the invoice and it will not function until you pay tmobile.

Now waiting for reply

Have I mentioned lately that I hate ebay?

* Amazon Central / This is a new one - in product description!
« on: February 05, 2015, 08:07:12 PM »
I just got an ASIN change notification.  When I checked on it, here's what I found

ASIN: B0074D0NUI   
NEW PRODUCT_DESCRIPTION: CoCo and Company at Kohl's - Shop our entire selection of kids' bedding coordinates, including these CoCo and Company Chomp and Stomp Removable Wall Decals, at   

OLD PRODUCT_DESCRIPTION: CoCaLo Chomp and Stomp Wall DecalsCoCaLo's Chomp and Stomp Wall Decals contain four 10" x 18" sheets of removable and reusable vinyl decals for the wall. A great accessory for the nursery, playroom, or bathroom. Won't harm walls. Coordinates perfectly with the Chomp and Stomp Collection.   

ASIN: B0074D0L96

NEW PRODUCT_DESCRIPTION: CoCo and Company at Kohl's - Shop our entire selection of kids' bedding coordinates, including this CoCo and Company Baby Farm Removable Wall Decals, at

OLD PRODUCT_DESCRIPTION: CoCaLo Baby Farm Wall DecalsCoCaLo's Baby Farm Wall Decals contain four 10" x 18" sheets of removable and reusable vinyl decals for the wall. A great accessory for the nursery, playroom, or bathroom. Won't harm walls. Coordinates perfectly with the Baby Farm Collection.

 :o :-X

Course, it might be that some 3P seller scraped for the description, but. . .

I created a case, requesting it be changed back, and when I did so it had yet another description, one that was very basic and generic.  I dunno if Amazon already fixed it or what, but even so I want the older, better one, back.
It's an older article, but has some interesting points (including an interesting comment from a former eBay employee in comments section).  Basically, it says that the majority of IP infringement claims on Amazon and through eBay's VERO program are solely for the purpose of keeping the prices from 3P sellers and retail arbitrage sellers jacked up to MAP or higher.


 Anthem Inc., the second largest U.S. health insurer, said Wednesday that its computers were hacked and data on as many as 80 million customers and employees may have been exposed.

"Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack," the company said in a letter to its members. "These attackers gained unauthorized access to Anthem’s IT system and have obtained personal information from our current and former members such as their names, birthdays, medical IDs/social security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data."

It said that there's no evidence that credit card or medical information - such as claims, test results or diagnostic codes - were targeted or compromised. There was no word on how the hackers got in or who may be responsible.

. . .

 Anthem said it will individually notify current and former members whose information has been accessed as well as provide credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge to those affected.

Anthem offers Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in California, New York and 12 other states.

Read the whole story at the above source link
* Amazon Central / Amazon forums poofed - oops!
« on: January 31, 2015, 01:58:33 PM »
Was just over at the Amazon seller forums and all threads have been zapped. Every category has zero threads.   Someone over there hit the wrong button  :-X :rotfl
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